It’s all over the papers, the internet and even the TV news in Miami.
Cuba is entering the 80’s, if you believe the AP. You see, Cubans are being introduced to microwave ovens made by Daewoo. WooFreaking’Hoo.
According to the AP, in this Miami Herald article:
LAS GUASIMAS, Cuba —
Ana Magdalena Melian, a spry 91-year-old, had never seen a microwave oven until one landed in her kitchen courtesy of the communist government.
”There were some rich people in Havana who had a microwave, but the rest of us didn’t dream of one,” said the great-grandmother who uses the new Daewoo DC to prepare flan and defrost chicken.
About 3,000 households in Las Guasimas, a town just southeast of Havana named for a stubby evergreen tree, were issued microwaves in December as part of a pilot program.
La Sra Melian is one resourceful ol’ cookie. You’ve got to hand it to her. She figured out how to make a flan, which requires a bunch of ingredients that are scarce and expensive in Cuba and is somewhat tricky to make even with a good stove, (at least in my case), in a Daewoo mini-microwave oven in no time at all. And she’s 91! (lookout, Marta).
The microwave ovens are part of a pilot program in which the regime is studying whether to make the microwaves available for sale to the public. Really, more like a propaganda program designed to make it appear as if the “new” regime is making changes that benefit the lives of ordinary cittizens.
I’m assuming the study is going to be difficult to conduct because of the lack of electricity and food to cook in the microwave ovens. Maybe they should study how to provide these essentials. Oh yes, I forget, they’ve been studying that problem for nearly fifty years. Any day now…..
The sad part of this story, even sadder that they’re making microwave ovens available to people who have nothing to cook in them, is that the regime, the only importer, wholesaler and retailer, is planning on financing the purchase of the microwave ovens to its citizens-probably with interest. And you guessed it – they are conveniently the only financiers as well.
Considering that an average Cuban makes $15 a month and assuming that these Daewoo microwaves go for $90, these ovens represent 6 times a median Cuban monthly salary. So let’s say you make $35,000 per year in the US, it would be like you paying $17,500 for a microwave oven-or like going to the Toyota dealership, getting a nicely equipped Corolla, parking it in kitchen – and toasting your toast on the engine block.
This fact, isn’t overlooked by everyday Cubans, who are smart enough to figure out how to make flan in a microwave, after all:
Melian said her family now loves ”el microwave” but the idea of having to pay to keep it scares her.
”We still are missing a lot in our lives,” she said. “This helps, but at what price?”
Her neighbor, 76-year-old retired truck driver Sergio Rodriguez, uses his microwave to heat rice and milk.
”If they want to charge me, it will take 20 years to pay off,” said Rodriguez, who lives with his daughter and two grandchildren.